So, here we are, beginning to read Revelation chapter 11. It seems like just minutes ago that we read
Revelation 10:6-7 NASB and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, WHO CREATED HEAVEN AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE EARTH AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE SEA AND THE THINGS IN IT, that there will be delay no longer, (7) but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.
The transition between verses six and seven is the word but; that word could indicate anything coming immediately after this conversation or another future event. The usage of the term “delay” should eliminate any future events. The problem we escapees from the nations have is that we have the worst time separating ourselves from the church age we live, as we apply our mindset and current issues to the book of Revelation. If I think in terms of the immediate and overall context, the conversation is taking place during the time of the seven trumpets; and what they bring to the earth begins in chapter eight.
Hail, mixed with fire and blood;
A third of the sea becomes blood, and a third of the sea life dies.
One-third of all the ships on the sea were destroyed.
One-third of the water sources become undrinkable, and many people died.
A third of the sun became darkened along with the moon.
I suspect, you get the picture, yet this is only how this “trumpet” phase begins. Any of these events could lead to devastating results. Having already, in our chronology, experienced the seal judgments, the bowl judgments, and now the trumpet judgments, you might think that those who are going to repent and come to the Lord have done so.
And yet, John is still under a directive to –
Revelation 10:11 CEV Then some voices said, “Keep on telling what will happen to the people of many nations, races, and languages, and also to kings.”
Considering where John is when this vision occurs, how is he going to make verse 11 happen?
I suppose, depending on your age and how painful it is to get up and walk, you should rejoice. However, this thought process makes me think about the many ways you could keep on telling what will happen and to whom, and writing could be one of them.
On that note, what is the next thing that John does?
He writes out what he saw and heard, with minor exceptions – like the information he was commanded NOT to share. Yet almost two thousand years later, someone like me is still writing about understanding the Revelation.
Now we have moved into chapter eleven, and it seems that there is a monumental interruption. I say this because, even though “there will be no more delays,” and yet the seventh trumpet does not come until Revelation 11:15. At this point, we need to understand WHY God inserted this coming information about measuring the temple and the two witnesses. These two witnesses are a mystery to most but vital to Israel’s repentance. Remember context, and try to think like a Jew.
Revelation 11:1-4 CJB I was given a measuring rod like a stick and told, “Get up, and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count how many people are worshiping there! (2) But the court outside the Temple, leave that out; don’t measure it; because it has been given to the Goyim (Gentiles,) and they will trample over the holy city for forty-two months. (3) “Also I will give power to my two witnesses; and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.” (4) These are the two olive trees and the two menorahs standing before the Lord of the earth.
At the time of this vision was there a temple?
No, it had been destroyed in 70 A.D., and the Bible Knowledge Commentary tells us that “Most evangelical scholars affirm that Revelation was written in a.d. 95 or 96. This is based on accounts of the early church fathers that the Apostle John had been exiled on Patmos Island during the reign of Domitian who died in a.d. 96. John was then allowed to return to Ephesus.”
John, was well aware that the temple was gone, and would not be thinking in terms of Solomon’s nor Herod’s temple so those would not apply to Revelation 11:1,2. But a future temple, in the millennial kingdom, would, and he had learned of that temple from Ezekiel chapters 40-42, 45.
Ezekiel had been taken captive into Babylon. Since the captivity was to last seventy years, the chances of Ezekiel seeing home again was slim to none. Under these circumstances, the Lord gives him a vision.
Ezekiel 40:1 CEV Twenty-five years after King Jehoiachin and the rest of us had been led away as prisoners to Babylonia, and fourteen years after the Babylonians had captured Jerusalem, the LORD’s power took control of me on the tenth day of the first month. The LORD showed me some visions in which I was carried to the top of a high mountain in Jerusalem. I looked to the south and saw what looked like a city full of buildings.
“But don’t measure the courtyard outside the temple building. Leave it out. It has been given to those people who don’t know God, and they will trample all over the holy city for forty-two months.” Revelation 11:2.
The outer court was the only place women could go, and, it was where Jesus overthrew the tables of the money-changers and sellers of sacrificial animals.
In the previous post I showed you this passage.
Ezekiel 8:5-9 NASB Then He said to me, “Son of man, raise your eyes now toward the north.” So I raised my eyes toward the north, and behold, to the north of the altar gate was this idol of jealousy at the entrance. (6) And He said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations which the house of Israel are committing here, so that I would be far from My sanctuary? But yet you will see still greater abominations.” (7) Then He brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, a hole in the wall. (8) He said to me, “Son of man, now dig through the wall.” So I dug through the wall, and behold, an entrance. (9) And He said to me, “Go in and see the wicked abominations that they are committing here.”
As far as God was concerned the courtyard was filled with abominations at the hands of the nations (ethnic groups). What then are abominations?
According to Webster’s Dictionary: defilement, pollution – in a physical sense, or evil doctrines and practices – which are moral defilements, idols and idolatry, (all of which) are called abominations. So God is giving us, once again, a definition of why He has poured out His wrath upon Israel and the nations;
in all of this He wishes to see repentance, but for many, it never comes. We have been using the term nations and gentiles quite freely, perhaps we need to go over how this word was perceived by the Jews. Nation and Gentiles were synonymous terms, however, the Greek term is ethnos. That should sound familiar as it is a base from which we get ethnicity. Sadly, ethnicity is wrapped up in racism, and everyone practices some form of racism. By Jewish standards, it referred to anyone outside of the Jewish religion. Since the time of Christ and the age of grace, “the nations” refers to anyone who is not in Christ. We, by the way, became a part of Christ’s body of believers when we accepted Him and the life He gave for us. Nations then simply boils down to the haters outside of Christ.
Do you know that even within religions there are many haters?
We might assume the Gentiles would be the abomination, but no, it’s aliens (I jest, sort of.) Look at what Jeremiah tells us.
Jeremiah 51:51 NASB We are ashamed because we have heard reproach; Disgrace has covered our faces, For aliens have entered The holy places of the LORD’S house.
Aliens seems to be a hot topic lately. Here it is the Hebrew word zur and means strangers, enemies, illegitimate, adulteress, and outsiders. Maybe it would help you understood if you consider that because Mary stood her ground and insisted that God was Jesus’s Father, that Jesus was deemed to be a mumzer (an illegitimate child.) Do you think for a second that the tightly knit community believed Mary’s story? If you never watched The Chosen, there is a scene when Jesus, and all the disciples, walked into a local synagogue. The priest was reading, with what seemed like a vile anger, Deuteronomy 23.
Deuteronomy 23:2 NASB “No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the LORD; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the LORD.
By this standard Jesus could not and should not have entered a Synagogue, nor be taught in the Rabbinical schools; and yet Jesus, at age 12, stood His ground with the learned men in the temple. Jesus birth, by all standards, should have made Jesus the alien because he was thought by most to be illegitimate. Fascinating, and yet He was well educated in the scriptures. Some would use the lame reasoning that He was God and therefore, had special understanding or privilege. The problem with that kind of thinking is that the majority of us only accept that He was God as head knowledge, and then, only because we have heard someone say it; and yet, many will fight with you if you say that Jesus had NO special privilege and had to be taught just as the pharisees were. There is a logical explanation for this but this is not the time or place.
Moving on with Revelation 11:3,4.
“Also I will give power to my two witnesses; and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.” (4) These are the two olive trees and the two menorahs standing before the Lord of the earth.”
I find the introduction of the two witnesses uncomfortable as I try to make them fit into MY scheme of things. (Yes, that’s what we do, and because we are prone to do that, we have to force ourselves to pay attention to context and let scripture define scripture.)
How and why is any of this information that we see in Revelation 11:1-4 significant?
I hope this short dive into the potential chronological events associated with Revelation 11:1-4 that initiate the rapture and immediately after that might help.
The rapture of the church must be the first thing that happens, and then the antichrist comes on the scene. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Geneva “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first, and then that man of sin be disclosed, even the son of perdition,” (I made it a bit more readable.) I used the Geneva bible because it was one of the first printed translations and they got it right.
The Revelation makes me believe that God’s judgments begin shortly after the church is removed, and with the opening of the first seal (Revelation 6:1) we get the antichrist – the rider on the white horse. A common understanding is that a person scripture calls the antichrist, will make a peace treaty with many. It does not specify Israel and is foolish to think so. The Muslims will not listen to someone who is not a Muslim, and since the majority of players in this war are Muslims, well you do the math.
Doesn’t the fact that there is a call for peace imply that there will be another hellish war going on? Everything I see tells me that this war will be against Israel, and there is a great chance that the mosque that is on the temple mount will get destroyed.
Moments after the removal of the church people will be trying to kill each other. Revelation 6:2,3, the second seal is broken and the rider on the red horse takes peace from the earth. Some might say, that this is nothing new, just look at the news. Yeah, I get that, but the escalation in the number of killings will be horrific.
In the midst of all this, the temple in Jerusalem will have to be built, but something has to be done about that Mosque before that can happen. War may take care of that, or the firestorm that Ezekiel 38,39 speaks of. The temple will only function, as the Jews expect, for 1260 days – give or take, and then the abomination that Daniel informed us about will be set up, and the people will be forced to worship the image. There might be months in between the onslaughts, but who can say. Many think building the temple would be time-consuming, not really, for two reasons: First, they can use a temporary structure that can be put up overnight. Secondly, because the design and concrete walls are already made, they merely need to be bolted together. Everything is ready, including the high priest, a fairly young man named Rabbi Baruch Kahane. An article from August tells us about him.
Ah, finally, the two witnesses.
Let’s assume that the two witnesses have arrived from heaven at the same time as the construction of the temple. The two witnesses are only here for 1260 days; considering what they have come out of their mouths, they might help serve as force protection for the temple and those making sacrifices. Why say that? Because with their deaths, we have the false prophet shoved down our throats, and he acts similarly to these prophets of God; for example, the prophets stop the rain, and the false prophet turns it back on again. The false prophet also becomes the enforcer of Sharia law. It seems that the death of God’s prophets enables the last half of the seven years to take place.
While I would love to talk about these two witnesses briefly, the conversation about the two witnesses is a post in itself, and I will pass until the next post.
As the third seal is opened, food becomes more scarce, and we all get hit with hyperinflation. So, if you can find any food, you won’t be able to afford it. Revelation 6:5,6.
“When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6:7-8. How are these riders killing? Sword, famine, pestilence, and by beasts of the earth. Pestilence, according to The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, is defined as any sudden fatal epidemic. The Greek word is thánatos and means death. The question is, aren’t we currently dealing with a so-called pandemic with a “deadly” Covid virus?
If you are reading along with me in your bibles, then you are aware that God is NOT scheduling these events on the calendar for our direct benefit. He does, however, have a calendar if we are paying attention, and we are deeply entrenched in His calendar right now.
Having spent my life in the church, I have seen everything, and not all of it was good. Several “teachers” have tried to come up with chronological views. One resource on my computer is Rev. Clarence Larkin’s Book of Charts. If this was supposed to make sense and be helpful to me, then why can I NOT grasp most of what I see there?
I am not so unlike you; I want to understand and clearly explain what I see there. Having been attacked by a pastor who said, no one understands the Revelation, I have taken the position that says, I do; and if I don’t, then I will have to rely on doing my homework and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to come up with an answer. (By the way, I do not have to answers immediately and will allow myself time to come up with one.) Study your bibles and lean on the Holy Spirit. Don’t allow someone else to tell you what it means; most of the time, what they are saying is garbage. After several weeks of explaining the Revelation, one such pastor merely noted that the twelve elders were the church. He did not explain why; trust me, it needed an explanation; not just because I say so, but because there is little to define how or why the twelve are the church. Oh, it’s there in scripture, and it took Pastor John MacArthur to explain it, and I can hardly stand the man because he is so mean.
We, the church, are on the edge of eternity right now. Those who are not part of the church are going to have the worst time possible. Just the little bit that I have pointed out here should make that plain.
Put your faith in Jesus Christ. He died for your sins and rose again so that you might have a life with the Father. None of this is automatic and asks that you put your faith in Him. If you do that, you will be His forever, and you will live in His peaceful kingdom.